Whether you’re in the market for some unique souvenir items, local produce or luxury quality items, Brazil definitely has all of these and more. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the myriad of choices and fine offerings of the stores that dot the place – Sao Paulo alone has all kinds of shopping malls and markets ranging from the glitzy and trendy to the local street markets. The key to smart shopping is to know a little bit about Brazilian culture, a handy map and a bit of information on where to find the good buys.
Music. Travelers to Brazil never leave the country without buying some music, whether it be CDs, albums or the many varieties of percussion, wind and string instruments. Rio de Janeiro would have the best and widest array of music offerings. For local flavor, you can also hit the open-air music markets that are held in other cities periodically.
Gemstones. For reputable fine jewelry and precious stones, it is still a wise idea to stick to the stores in the big cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo where you can get a guarantee of authenticity. Internationally-renowned dealers like Amsterdam Sauer or H. Stern may not exactly be the bargain stores to purchase these gemstones but if you buy your jewelry from these stores in the country they are said to be less expensive than their outlets in other parts of the world.
Arts & Crafts. Feira Hippie de Ipanema is a weekly fair in Rio de Janeiro where you can find authentic Brazilian crafts, clothing, jewelry and food. It was started by a group of hippies back in the 1960s and since then the fair has grown larger. Souvenir shirts, embroidery, ceramic art stores and all kinds of local dishes like the frigideira de bacalhau (codfish omelette) can be found in the fair. Minas Gerais is another popular place for shopping for handicrafts with a local touch.